Marketing Metrics

4 Ways Digital Marketers Can Make Data Work for Them

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There’s no doubt that data is a marketer’s very best friend these days. According to Forbes, best-in-class marketers are 56% more likely to use data and analytics platforms and 64% of marketing executives see data-driven marketing as crucial to success in a globalized economy. But, as the importance of data in marketing has greatly increased, the line between art and science has blurred. Is marketing more of an art, or is it becoming a hard science?

The easiest way to find answers is often to follow the money—MediaMath reports that nearly two-thirds of marketers report that their spending on data-driven marketing and advertising grew over the last year. However, despite this increased spending, only 19% of marketers are bothering to track their marketing efforts for better reporting in order to drive improvement. That means approximately 67% of marketers are spending more on data-driven marketing, but only 19% are using that data to improve. Very bad scientists, indeed!

Marketing data should be used to drive improvement, inform decisions, and increase lead generation. If you’re spending all of your time gathering data from disparate sources, you’ll lose agility and time to innovate. This seems like an obvious contributor to the fact that only 19% of marketers are tracking their work. Especially because they don’t appear to be oblivious to the problem: Skyword reports that 87% of marketers consider data their organizations’ most underutilized asset.

It shouldn’t be difficult to use the data you’re investing in. In this blog, I’ll cover four ways digital marketers can make data work for them.

1. Send All Your Leads to One Place

Today, Netskope reports that the average marketing department uses 67 apps while Skyhigh says the average employee actively uses 36 cloud services at work. It’s no wonder that people don’t want to move data around from that many apps.

However, sending all your leads to one central app (or platform, ideally) enables much better reporting, and it doesn’t have to be a time-suck. By integrating your peripheral apps (such as Eventbrite, Unbounce, the list goes on), you can quickly and easily see what’s working and what isn’t.

For many cloud apps, there are out-of-the-box integrations you can set up between your apps and if that doesn’t do the trick, you can use an integration platform. You may already have some integrations going, but it’s important to choose one system of record with integrations that can do duplicate control and error handling. In other words, even if you already have data flowing from Eventbrite into Unbounce, don’t forget you need that same data to go into whichever app you’re using as hub.

Taking the time to create these connections will pay off in the long term—the Aberdeen Group finds that marketing data and analytics users are 57% more effective at increasing their productivity with integrated marketing technologies.

2. Get Data Delivered to You

If you’re not a numbers person by nature, data can easily sink to the very bottom of your to-do list. It’s hard to remember to log into Google Analytics or Mixpanel every single day to look at your stats, but having an acute awareness of your performance will make you a much more effective marketer.

Workbot Screenshot

Luckily, there are many great tools you can use to stay on top of your data without doing extra work or logging into your apps to generate a report. For example, you can receive Mixpanel analytics reports in Slack or get a notification each time someone downloads your ebook on Unbounce using tools like Workbot. This will make data consumption a natural part of your day and you’ll find that you’re keenly aware of your conversion rate, the impact your programs are having, and are better informed in your everyday decisions.

3. Automate Around the Lead Enrichment Process

Lead enrichment can be a tedious task because it involves manually adding data. Tedious as it may seem, this data is often critical to getting a lead to the next level in the sales cycle. “Enriching our leads is a very important part of our overall growth strategy and we automate around the process using People Task,” said Marc Matrocola, Director of Growth at Sonder. “My goal is always to build a solid demand generation funnel, which increases user acquisition, and improves pipeline conversion at key points. It needs to be a system-oriented process, meaning if you can’t show me metrics, your system probably isn’t working.”

You can save a lot of time by automating human workflows. When a new lead comes in, with the right technology, the information will be automatically added to the lead’s profile inside of your CRM or app of choice. No logging in and out of apps or navigating to the lead’s profile.

Automating a human workflow is also imperative for things that require human judgment, like accepting or rejecting someone based on their submitted materials. The collaboration company Box automates around their acceptance process to their partner program using Marketo, Salesforce, and Workato.

4. Segmenting Marketing Efforts

Many marketers wish they had a painless method for segmenting leads—especially according to purchasing habits, like what the customer has bought in the past. However, email marketing apps aren’t made to hold excessive amounts of customer data, they’re made to design and send emails.

Shopify-Marketo

To segment effectively, you’ll need to use data that is trapped in other apps. For example, moving purchase data from your eCommerce app into your marketing automation platform to understand past purchases. And if you’re looking to segment non-commerce efforts, the data you already have in your CRM app, or Engagement Platform will open up a whole new world as you can segment on company size, location, subscription plan, birthdays and more.

With proper segmentation, you’ll see open rates go way up. Tara Humpries, Head of Digital Marketing at WavHello has seen this first-hand. “Integration is huge for marketers, but because it seems more technical I think it’s often overlooked. Our integrations have allowed us to not only map the customer journey but also to send segmented emails, which has already increased our repeat customers by 65%,” said Humpries.

Getting Started with Integration and Automation

A 2017 study commissioned by the MarTech Industry Council found that marketers’ top frustrations with MarTech are too many technologies (50%), followed by problems integrating that tech (49%). The first step to overcoming this challenge is to use as many out-of-the-box, pre-built integrations as you can. A few clicks and your data will be flowing from one app to another. You may eventually hit a wall with these pre-built integrations because they lack a capability you need or one does not exist. Now it’s time for step two: finding an integration platform that both you and IT can be happy with.

Be careful when choosing a tool. Very simple, DIY integration platforms often used by marketers can fall short—you need to control for duplicates and avoid propagating bad data as you move things around. More than half of companies say their biggest challenge to data-driven marketing success is the lack of data quality and completeness according to Ascend2; both are issues increased by blind data shuffling.

At the same time, overly complicated, traditional integration platforms will cost a lot and take a long time to implement changes, effectively squashing the agility needed in marketing. “Many integration tools on the market are struggling with digital transformation themselves,” explains Holger Mueller, VP of Constellation Research, “For the most part, there are two sets of vendors: there’s the traditional ones who offer to move things from on-premise to cloud and there are newer ones, which are called cloud native and have struggled to support integration on the on-premise side.”

At the end of the day, your integration platform should work with you (intelligently), not pose a barrier to your productivity. What methods do you use to make your data work for you? What will you be integrating after reading this blog? Tell me about how you handle your data in the comments!